More Limbaugh advertisers jump ship
March 5th, 2012
09:31 AM ET
3 years ago

More Limbaugh advertisers jump ship

(CNN) – Rush Limbaugh's apology for labeling a law student a "slut" and "prostitute" failed to stem an exodus of advertisers from his radio show, as another company said Monday it was withdrawing spots from the conservative program.

AOL, along with 11 other companies, announced plans to remove ads from "The Rush Limbaugh Show," which is the most listened to talk radio show in the United States.

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"At AOL one of our core values is that we act with integrity," the company wrote in a post on their corporate Facebook page. "We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh's comments are not in line with our values. As a result we have made the decision to suspend advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Radio show."

Other sponsors dropping spots from Limbaugh's show include mattress companies like Sleep Number and The Sleep Train, and companies that assist small businesses like Citrix, LegalZoom and QuickenLoans.

One company, Carbonite, a data backup service, said feedback from customers led to the decision to remove advertising from Limbaugh's show. The company's CEO said Limbaugh's apology Saturday wasn't enough to put his company's ads back on the air.

"No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady," Carbonite CEO David Friend said. "Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse."

On Monday, KPUA, a radio station in Hilo, Hawaii announced it would no longer carry the radio program, effective immediately.

"We are strong believers in the first amendment and have recognized Mr. Limbaugh's right to express opinions that often times differ from our own, but it has never been our goal to allow our station to be used for personal attacks and intolerance. The most recent incident has crossed a line of decency and a standard that we expect of programming on KPUA," Chris Leonard, President and General Manager of New West Broadcasting said in a statement.

"Regardless of one's political views on the issue being discussed, we feel the delivery was degrading and the continued comments over several days to be egregious," Leonard continued.

In Limbaugh's apology Saturday, he admitted his "choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir."

He added, "I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

Appearing on the ABC program "The View" Monday, Fluke said Limbaugh's apology was issued under pressure from advertisers.

"I don't think that a statement like this, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything," Fluke said. "And especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support from the show."

It was not clear Monday whether other companies who suspended their advertising before Limbaugh's apology would reinstate their support following the host's apology. Calls to Sleep Number, The Sleep Train and Legal Zoom were not immediately returned.

ProFlowers, an online flower delivery service, said in a Facebook posting Sunday Limbaugh's comments were at odds with their corporate image.

"At ProFlowers, our mission is to delight our customers with fresh and long lasting flowers, and that is our singular focus each and every day," the statement read.

It continued, "Mr. Limbaugh's recent comments went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company. As such, ProFlowers has suspended advertising on The Rush Limbaugh radio program."

On Monday, Pentagon press secretary George Little said the Defense Department had no plans to stop broadcasting Rush Limbaugh's show to service members on the American Forces Network. Limbaugh's show is part of the Defense Department's policy to broadcast shows that "reflect a wide range" of opinion, Little said.

Little said he had "not heard" of any review of whether Limbaugh's show remains suitable for broadcast after the controversy surrounding Limbaugh. Little also said he could not immediately say what the standards are for whether certain broadcasts are considered suitable by the Defense Department.

VoteVets.org, a veterans advocacy organization, released a statement from female service members calling on Defense Department to stop airing "The Rush Limbaugh Show" on the American Forces Network.

"Rush Limbaugh has a freedom of speech and can say what he wants, but in light of his horribly misogynistic comments, American Forces Radio should no longer give him a platform," the statement said. "Our entire military depends on troops respecting each other – women and men. There simply can be no place on military airwaves for sentiments that would undermine that respect."

On his radio show Monday, Limbaugh addressed the advertisers who dropped their spots from his program, telling his audience, "I'm sorry to see them go. They have profited handsomely from you. These advertisers who have split the scene have done very well from their access to you, my audience on this program."

He added, "That's a business decision and it's theirs alone to make. They've decided they don't want you or your business anymore."

Outcry over Limbaugh's comments began last week after he criticized Sandra Fluke, a student at Georgetown Law, for advocating broad health care coverage for contraception at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

Limbaugh made the original comments Wednesday, in which he also suggested Fluke wanted taxpayers to pay for her to have sex.

"What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says she must be paid to have sex?" Limbaugh asked. "What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex."

Top Republicans and Democrats denounced the talk show host, and President Barack Obama called Fluke Friday to offer his support.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (278 Responses)
  1. Dan from Tx

    These companies have already filled Rush's coffers to the multi-millions and he theirs. NOW they want to back out.
    But they are "accomplices" and should be prosecuted as such .
    BOYCOTT THESE COMPANIES ANYWAY.
    Unless you want them to continue to build more Frankenstein monsters like Rushbo.

    March 5, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. John

    And he should be taking off the air. This man had NO Business having a radio show of any kind. It one thing to Apologize to some one, But the only reason he did It was because he was losing Sponsors Not because of what he said. He met what he said.

    March 5, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Fla Pete

    It stands to show who his true followers are.Those hypocrital republicans who clammer to hear what crap spews out of his lips.I just hope the FCC grows a pair and takes this neanderthal off the air permanently.Women will cheer,so will people that have some sense about them...

    March 5, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. jamarsu

    I'd like to see a pack of femi-nazi zombies come after him and eat his brains. Oh no . He doesn't have any. Poor zombies.

    March 5, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. enuff

    It was just a matter of time before he got so carried away with his hatred that he would destroy himself. He may not quite be at total self destruction yet, as he has enough hate filled listeners to support him, but he is on his way. He seriously thought people would cheer what he said because he has attacked so many before and nothing happened. But what he forgot is what goes around, comes around. To attack someone not affiliated with the them vs. us mentality crossed a line and now he is finally feeling some of the backlash.

    March 5, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. Stop the Charade

    I'm losing my sponsors. Help, I'm shrinking!

    March 5, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    What is most distrubing about these still unfolding events is that they are becoming a textbook example of that old cliche, "money talks." What does it say about someone when money matters more than morals?

    March 5, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. kevin

    @ all you rush fans on this site , can you say bill maher, and everybody else saying vile stuff about S. PALIN SHE IS A C WORD I WOULD SAY THAT IS THE SAME AS THE S. WORD . O BUT THAT IS O.K..

    March 5, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Smako

    Stupid how this fat slug can stand up for his convictions right up to the point where his money stops coming in, then he apologizes faster than Obama. If it is your core belief and your standing point, stand by it. Maybe he decided that he couldn't survive if he didn't get as many millions this year as last year.

    March 5, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. fatheadrushisback

    It's time for Rush to go bye-bye, he is way over his 15 minutes.

    March 5, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. DeeNYC

    The advertisers use his show because he IS always saying crazy controversial things. He's a radio personality, it's the people who actually hold stock in what he says is the problem. People on tv and radio shows are entertainers, just because slow minded people actually believe these entertainers are espousing "truth" doesn't make it so.

    March 5, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. JLC

    Has the mighty finally fallen? About time this man finally goes away. The putrid bile he's been spewing all over the airwaves was old in the 90s. Time to get some more sensible and less hypocritical conservative voices on the air.

    March 5, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Hmmm

    So I take it they will be advertising the fact they supported someone who spent 3,000 Dollars on contraception over the man who is against Barack the Mad Hatter Spender Obama?

    March 5, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. PJ/TX

    Why did Carbonite CEO, David Friend "schedule a face to face meeting with Limbaugh"? Limbaugh already knows
    his comments are offensive, the problem is, he does not care. So this shows Carbonite is not serious. They
    should wait for Limbaugh to come to them, then kick him out.

    March 5, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. wnsumner

    Sure, he issued an apology-but not to her face or by calling her! He posted it on his website-which I can bet she never goes to. Which means he is not sincere in his apology. He only apologized after pressure from those who pay him. He apologized so they'd continue to pay him. Who's the prostitute now?

    March 5, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Keith in SoJax

    Isn't Limbaugh impotent without drugs? Didn't he get held at an airport because he had a prescription in his Dr's name instead of his. Wasn't that prescription for Viagra? Doesn't insurance pay for Viagra? Does that mean men that take Viagra are also sluts and whores? If this hypocritical, self absorbed, arrogant, fool has the largest radio audience in the country, its a symptom of some serious problems. We get what we deserve..........

    March 5, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. Jim

    I WONDER? Does insurance pay for Viagra for single men? If so does that mean they are paying for them to have sex?

    March 5, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. Cary

    Yay! Good for him. His talk radio show is just a show to spread hate, racism and ideology for the corrupt GOP.

    Hope this show gets off the air soon.

    March 5, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. pat carr

    "hey i agree with most things rush says, but he crossed a line. now all the monkeys are rattling their cages"

    yes those "monkeys" are his sponsors and hopefully he will go off the air, so you will have to get your daily hate fix from elsewhere

    March 5, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. jamesnyc

    Rush and his ilk wouldn't be on the air unless there was somebody out there listening to them. So it begs the question – why are we listening to this guy and others like him? What do we have in ourselves that is so vengeful, vitriolic and mean spirited?

    March 5, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. Jess C

    What does it say about the mindset of our country that this big0mouthed piece of crap has so many listeners? Embarrassing and extremely shameful.

    March 5, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. Mikey

    This guy has gone way over the line so many times, it is shocking this didn't happen years ago. The pressure must continue so that he cannot lay low and then go right back to his old tricks... and the same for the sponsors – the pressure must be kept up. It is a very sad commentary on our society that this hateful, offensive, divisive pig has the biggest radio audience in America. Who are these neanderthals?

    March 5, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. K

    Glad people are starting to finally get sick of the childish political and social discourse in this country. One day we might even be able debate with reason and logic instead of name calling!

    And on that note– Erections get insurance, so why not the pill?

    March 5, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. RonRom77

    Way to go Rush! I've always believed you are a brilliant tactical move by Democrats, because the more you open your mouth, the better it is for the left. Thank you Rush, you are helping assure Obama's re election

    March 5, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  25. Florida Joe

    Good for those companies, wonder why any company would want to advertise on this loud mouth's show
    Now if only Mitt would grow a spine and say something other than it "was not the language I would have used"
    Really Mitt, you agree with what he said just would have said it differently.......Some leader you are...NOT

    March 5, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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